As of 2023, an estimated 4.9 billion people use social media across the world – and that number is expected to jump by approximately 20% by 2027! In the last three years, the online advertising world – especially social – has continued to change and diversify, providing more avenues for businesses to reach their target audience.
Back in 2018, an estimated 68% of U.S. adults used Facebook and 35% used Instagram. Both platforms, while still highly relevant, have seen a slight decline or slowing of social media users. Audiences have multiple different social media options. In fact, the typical social media user interacts with an average of 6.6 social media platforms and spends an average of 2 hours and 35 minutes on social media each day.
It’s no surprise that the largest audience for social growth is expected to come from Gen Z – those born between 1997-2012. Millennials (those born between 1981-1996) are expected to remain fairly consistent over the next few years, with a slight increase. By 2027, Gen Z and millennial social network users are expected to account for over half of the total social users in the United States.
TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram are the most popular social media platforms among this age group, although Snapchat tends to draw a higher share of Gen Z teens than Gen Z adults. Millennials dominate on Reddit (representing 40% of the user base) and are also present on TikTok (although not as much as Gen Z). Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) are both projected to lose millennial users this year.
As we start to look ahead to planning for 2024 and beyond, it’s best to look at things holistically. Depending on your target audience, it may be advantageous to split your social media budget among multiple platforms. Platforms like Reddit, Pinterest and LinkedIn have become bigger pieces of the advertising spend pie.
It’s also important to remember that traditional media still holds its place in this landscape as well. Millennials spend over 17% of their media time on traditional TV and listen to radio more than any other generation (including both broadcast and streaming radio). Gen Z spends over 10% of their time on traditional TV and 55% of them listen to the radio every day.
Each media platform has its place in the marketing landscape and can be strong when used correctly. Timing, budget allocation, and creative messaging are all important factors for success. We’re here to help you identify your target audience and the best ways to reach them!